HIGHLIGHT: PIP (@FLIPPERMOOD)

HIGHLIGHT: PIP (@FLIPPERMOOD)

Vibrant colors and vibrant feels are observed within the work found on Pip's (@flippermood) feed.  Be it portraits or landscapes or a combination of the two, there is an ethereal impression that his pieces create.  His blends are smooth, unique and innovative - leaving one to wonder what creations swirl behind his eyes.  We'd love for you to read more about Pip and his creative process!  

I am Pip.  I am basically the same guy on and off of Instagram. I can be introverted in new places.  I’m a bit timid when I start talking but as the time goes by I am friendly. I am a storyteller.  The people I meet are sometimes the inspiration of my images.  I have become friends with some of them and if we connect very well I search for inspiration in them.  I’m a wanderer, dreamer and melancholic child.  

I live here on the east coast of Connecticut in the New Haven area. It is a well known place so there are hidden gems, history and also a lot of artists, water, some nice parks, and castles. Connecticut has made me what I am today. I have connected with my surroundings quite well. The forests here aren’t like out the West but you can feel peace and connected with nature. 

I watch anime films. I love volleyball. I love music - the kind that has meaning to the lyrics I love to go on adventures and to watch the sunset. I love to go on cloud hunts( that’s a thing for some photographers). I love to be away from negativity. I love to meet people who I can collaborate with and have good intentions to share art. I love to be a good person. I love to know when people feel from my images. I love to travel to places. I love to create images that can show the world my imagination. I love to write short poems and to read good books. 

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET IN TO PHOTOGRAPHY?

I have always been the creative person in my house, but when I started getting anxious about everything I was going through in school, feeling lonely, feeling insecure, feeling loveless, etc., I needed a way to get rid of it.  I started looking at things in a deep, dark or dreamy way. So, after I turned 16 in 2011 and I got my first job, I saved for a camera.  At that time I did not know about cameras so I just started taking self portraits in harsh light and street photography with my phone and also nature photography. My friends on facebook liked some of those harshly lit, uninteresting self portraits. After a year of realizing that the art of photography was like a hidden treasure in me, Instagram was launched.  I joined Instagram thanks to a friend who told me about it and stuck with street and nature photography for awhile until I started to get more serious about my images in 2013. I wanted to show my emotions to others. I wanted to show my imagination and I started to teach myself everything - conceptual, manipulations, natural lighting and Photoshop.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?

I don't know if I have a style.  Yet.  But I do create differently at different times. It all depends on my mood.  If I am in a joyful mood I want my images to represent that. I want warm light and fantasy and to show dreamy scenarios.

But, of course, if it's moody the ideas change. Now I have to brainstorm for ideas and jump to conclusions about why I’m feeling this way. Sometimes media will give you inspiration for what's going on. Water can also be a source of inspiration.  The nostalgia it provides and the relaxation that your body feels from being near it. Sometimes I just want to photograph nature, but I need to feel something - to have something significant.

So it all depends on where I am, how I am feeling, what I am thinking, reading and seeing.  Those things make me create an image.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE FOR VIEWERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR WORK?

I want to communicate that there is love and that there is nostalgia. That my imagination is my reality. That there is good and there is evil. That loneliness has a soul, the wind can sing, water can speak, and that nature is a powerful being.  Also that compassion and illusions really exist. 

I want them to feel - to feel my doubts, my heartbreaks, my fears and my madness. I want them to tell me they have spoken with loneliness and that she has come to visit or that they have heard the wind and listened to its tunes or that the waves have taken their secrets toward the bottom of the ocean.

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WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN DEVELOPING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY?

One of the biggest challenges for me is expressing myself.  I often bring myself down when I think that people will not care about how I am feeling, but some might.  Not all of them will feel that connection, but some of us have gone through something and we want to get rid of that feeling.  In my case, I create to get rid of it. 

Another challenge is really being doubtful and not being very enthusiastic about my art.  In the beginning I only did it for appreciation - because I wanted people to see what I could do. However, growing as an artist/storyteller, you realize that it is ultimately a negative thought because no one wants to rely on people appreciating them.  You don't want people to just see you as skilled rather than as an inspiration.  When you start doing it for yourself because of wanting to confront your experiences and to fight against those negative feelings, some will appreciate your art.  They’ll appreciate the fact that they aren't alone while battling something they cannot show to the world in a poetic, creative way. 

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HOW HAS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR WORK?

It has been the main source of my development and in reaching others with what I want to express. Also, social media has connected me with so many wonderful people and creative minds. People who inspire me, including my current friends who are artists.

But sometimes it is addicting. The urge to create and share right away makes me rethink if I am really telling the story I want to tell and if I just feel the need to have my pages up to date. I have realized that, so now I share only when I know I am ready to share.   

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WHAT DOES YOUR EDITING PROCESS GENERALLY LOOK LIKE?

My editing can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.  It all depends on the image.  If it is a simple portrait I like to retouch it but not too much.  But if it's a conceptual or manipulation it would take time to make sure every layer is good. I have created my work flow so it goes from making sure I have the right amount of images for my concepts or the best images if they are portraits. Then I play around with colors and gradients.  I search for examples of the mood I want my pictures to have.  If they are landscapes I always try to be creative with them.

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HOW DO YOU TEND TO USE MEXTURES IN THAT PROCESS?

Mextures sometimes has the texture or the right mood for my photos.  I also post-process in Photoshop, but I like to use Mextures to add to any empty spots in an image. Sometimes I feel the image is okay with what I have done in post-processing, but Mextures has become my last stop to add subtle details in mood or texture.  Sometimes I don't add any texture or extreme coloring during post-processing so that’s when I go straight to Mextures to see what it has to offer. 

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WOULD YOU BE OKAY SHARING SOME OF YOUR MEXTURES FORMULAS?

So these are some I have played around with.  It’s really cool to be able to put together layers to make your image look dramatic and awesome.  I love the app! 

EYMAXYL - GoldenAutumn

UXSZYES - OctoberMorning

IBCQXQQ - Appasionato

IWJRYLD - Flippermood 

WSLHQTE - Flippermood 

CIWVPJP - MoodyMorning 

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WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST ENCOURAGED AND INSPIRED YOUR WORK?

I think my close friends that create work similar to mine. They have always been like a guide and support in my process as a visionary where I could feel the subtle energy of strength every time we got together because I have never felt the same in my own house unfortunately

For the inspiring part, I have always been guided by my feelings and my ideals so that I could find artists that reflect the same things and who see life in a delicate, brusque, or even isolated sphere among many other things. That they could be known for the way they express and make other people feel and could sometimes help others through their art. Street photographers, conceptual photographers and storytellers.

Also, people specifically from Instagram like Brooke Shaden, Joel Robison, Anka Zhuravleva are my inspiration.  Other Instagram accounts I have found through the years are Mustafa Seven, Bu Khaled, Mehmet Kirali, Sengul Tuncer, VuTheara Kham and Frederick Ardley.  There are a lot.  And of course pioneers of photography: Henrie Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry, Vivian Maier, Rui Palha, and so many others.

You can stare at more of Pip’s work here!